A 23-year-old pregnant woman, Jennifer Ogbonna, raised the emotion of people recently at Zone 2, Police Headquarters, Abeokuta, Ogun State, when she narrated how her sister tricked her into slavery and sold her off with her 7-month old pregnancy. She was then transported from Aba to Abeokuta after a couple who allegedly specialized in buying human beings from all parts of the country paid N100,000 to her sister.
She told Vanguard
“I was brought to Abeokuta by the woman’s husband. I don’t know that they had already paid money on my head. I only got to know in Abeokuta when I overheard the woman and her husband talking about child trafficking and I felt bad. I decided not to eat any of their food. There is one lady in that building, they call her Adeola, she would bring food for me and I would not touch it to the extent that the woman’s husband pleaded with me to eat and still I refused and said I am going back to Aba where she brought me from.
“When I said I was going to Aba, the man was angry and said before he would allow me to go back, I must pay back the N100,000 he paid my sister for myself and my pregnancy and the expenseshe incurred so far on me. After that, his wife took me to one shrine and asked me to swear to an oath not to go back to Aba or tell anybody what happened, that if I try to go back or tell anybody, she will make me mad; she would make me deaf and dumb.
“But, I discussed my plan to escape with another victim who I met there, she is Oluchi and she said that if I try it I will become mad, but, I insisted and I escaped. I ran away to the next street. When I ran to the street, I met some people and I narrated my experience to them. They advised me to report to the Police, that was how police got to know everything,
Suspect opens up
38-year-old Muyiba said,
“ I came to Abeokuta in January this year from Offa, Kwara State. I used to sell baby clothes before my shop got burnt during the crisis between Offa and Erin-Ile. I know how to prepare herbs for diabetic patients. I am a trado-medical doctor, I registered in Kwara State but not in Ogun State. I have treated three patients in Abeokuta since I have been here.”
When asked what she was doing with the pregnant women she camped in her house, Muyiba claimed that “ it was their husbands that brought them to my place, to keep them in my place. I knew them through one Joy.“ It all happened when I saw police on Wednesday night banging that we should open the door. They came to arrest all of us. I thought my husband has run away because I was asleep when the police came. My husband is Ismail Yusuf, our children are in Kwara State. The police also arrested Muyiba’s younger sister —Seun and when she was asked her role in the incident, she passed the ball to her elder sister.
It was further gathered that the husband, identified as Ismail Yusuf, is in charge of scouting for pregnant women as he reportedly went as far as Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and other states in the Eastern part of the country.
The wife, Muyiba, was saddled with the task of nurturing the pregnant women till they deliver of their babies for onward sale.The husband, having bought their preys (pregnant women), would charm them on the spot and take them to their operational base in Abeokuta where they would nurture the victims and their pregnancies until they give birth, which they allegedly usually sell to couples that need children or for ritual purposes.
It was also gathered that when these victims were bought, the couple would force them to swear to an oath not to escape. They would charm them so that they would not escape from them and people living around and security agencies would not have any clues of what they were doing in their den.